Is it the middle of the morning or afternoon, and you can barely think of anything else but catching a little more shut eye?
Even simple projects or tasks can sometimes seem incredibly hard to manage. You may even have to work to summon up enough energy to stay alert for your drive home from work.
Anyone can be tired for a number of reasons, but the most common one is not getting enough sleep. But, if you are getting enough sleep, then why are you having these daytime slumps half way through your morning or afternoon?
For many people, diets play a pivotal role in experiencing daytime drowsiness. Skipping meals or eating the wrong types of food and beverages can contribute to mid-morning and mid-afternoon fatigue sessions.
Make time for the most important meal of the day, by eating breakfast.
If you want to avoid a mid-morning slump, eat a higher amount of protein foods with complex carbohydrates, and less highly refined carbohydrates.
Maybe you are tired of eggs, then try high protein food sources like peanut butter, cottage cheese, other cheeses, or lean turkey with your toast. Complex carbohydrates to include are fresh raw fruits and whole grains.
Lunch as well, should contain more protein rich foods with a few complex carbohydrates for long lasting energy, and less highly refined carbohydrates.
If you choose to eat only a skimpy salad, or refined carbohydrates, you will then be left feeling short changed in the energy department later in the afternoon. The same effects also hold true when eating too heavily, or eating too much of a highly refined carbohydrate lunch. You will begin to feel sluggish soon afterward because, heavy meals will draw more blood from the brain to the digestive organs to help digest a heavy meal.
Highly refined foods are also harder for your body to digest (this may take days for your body to accomplish) and takes energy away from your brain. Also, experiment with eating smaller amounts of food more often, instead of eating heavier fewer times in the day, and avoid refined sugars, grains, and sugary beverages. The short lived and nutritionally empty energizing effects of eating these will bring on the yawns much quicker.
At one time in ancient history (the past 40 years) a low-fat diet was considered a smart and healthy path to take, and was advised by many medical health experts. Today, many still believe and follow this unproductive diet strategy. Unfortunately, following this fat-free diet strategy will also leave you feeling tired and exhausted. Ironically, the reverse is actually true. Omega-3 essential fatty acids, along with saturated fats, are very much needed by the body, and used for a more concentrated form of energy. The newer diet fat strategy idea is to consume way less omega-6 fatty acids oils (polyunsaturated), which are found in vegetable and seed oils, and is abundant in processed junk foods.
Healthy diet fat oils, such as saturated, monounsatureated (olive oil), and omega-3's (fish oil) are essential building materials for cell membranes, hormones, and act as carriers for the fat soluble vitamins A,D,E, and K.
Fats also help improve mineral absorption. Saturated fats were once and long thought to be heart damaging but, this fat has recently been vindicated from its villain status. Coconut oil is a saturated fat and has been shown in published research studies to boost metabolic energy, thus enhancing mental and physical performance. Coconut oil has also proven to positively improve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Consider trying a short vigorous 20 to 30 minute exercise stint (walking is good) during your lunch hour, in being able to help you fight daytime lethargy. A quick and brisk walk improves cardiovascular blood flow, physical and mental performance, breathing capacity, and helps promote healthy sleep. Only get 30 minutes for lunch, don't despair, use other opportunities through out your day to get some physical exertion. Use stairs instead of elevators, walk instead of driving, and break up long periods of sitting or standing with some sort of stretching or walking exercise.
If diet and exercise, together, are not quite enough to keep you as alert as you would like to be in the afternoon, here are some herbal options to consider. Adaptogenic herbs are safe, can be taken long term, and with very few (if any) side effects. Herbs in this class are ginseng (all varieties), rhodiola, and schisandra. Research data suggests the saponins called 'ginsenosides' in ginseng is the substance that may help strengthen the mind and immune system.
A quick mid-afternoon pick-me-up green drink made with 'spirulina' mixed with tomato juice is a tasty treat, as well as a herbal flavored green tea, iced or hot.
The Japanese are leaders in the intriguing, yet very invigorating power of aromatherapy. Aromatherapy has been shown to perk up an individual's arousal and alertness, and helps reduce stress. Use chemical free and natural forms of scent like essential oils, Rosemary is especially good at fighting fatigue. There are many different scents to choose from. Put a few drops on a tissue or cotton ball. Place in a small plastic baggy or jar, inhale as needed. Infuse a few drops of Rosemary in a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil, massage on sore, aching, or tired muscles
Now, let us go back to diet tips. There is no denying that a small amount of caffeine can help fight fatigue but, excessive and daily overuse of this drug can leave you feeling anxious, nervous, irritated, and reduce the efficiency of physical and mental performance. Caffeine can also (in many individuals) compromise regular, restful sleep. Some of you know who you are, and some of you may not. A word of caution, use caffeine sparingly until you know how it affects you and your sleep patterns. Many people do not take the effects of caffeine seriously enough, using it willy-nilly, as if it is not much of a threat.
If daytime fatigue has eluded all of the tactics mentioned above, then it may be time to take a look at your hydration levels. Dehydration is a common, rampant problem around the world, and especially prevalent in modern industrialized cultures. It is estimated that approximately three-quarters of the human population is seriously and chronically dehydrated. Dehydration contributes to daytime fatigue by reducing blood flow to the brain and other vital organs through out the body by slowing them down.
To prevent this problem, everyone should be responsible enough in making the small effort to better keep themselves properly hydrated with water. This is easier to do than than eating better food, and will help flush toxins out of you. Water is the nutrient carrying solvent the body prefers above any other. Water is energizing enough, in itself, to greatly help you avoid daytime sluggishness.
How much should you be drinking in water? That depends on your body weight. You should be drinking your body weight, divided in half, in ounces every day. After about 2 quarts of water consumption, add about a half a teaspoon of unrefined salt to the mixture.
Considering how much water is needed to replace what you are loosing constantly every day, in breathing, sweating, urinating, you get a better understanding of why it is so important to replenish it. And, understand this important factoid, the brain is made up of about 80% water, 20% fat. Depriving the brain of the energizing substance it is mostly comprised of, is an energy deprived brain.